Forget motivation. At its best, leadership isn't about motivating your employees. Instead, it's about inspiring them.
So argues Entrepreneur.com contributor David Meltzer. "I firmly believe that motivation is only a short-term fix. Inspiration is what carries us over the long term, connected to what is driving us to pursue our potential," Meltzer says. "Inspiration is the difference maker when it comes to maximizing your potential. Metaphorically speaking, motivation is skin deep; inspiration gets down to the marrow of the bone -- it gets into your cells."
The best way to be inspiring, according to Meltzer, is to be giving.
"The best leaders also tend to be the biggest givers," he says. "When your team knows that you go the extra mile to be extraordinary for them, they will go the extra mile in return. When you are being of service to others, your team can't help but feel your glory."
And remember: It's not giving if there are strings attached.
"Give unconditionally to others," Meltzer continues. "If you're giving with the intention of getting something back, it's not giving; it's trading. And trading carries a much different energy than giving. Trading won't inspire anybody. Unconditional giving is what inspires everyone, whether you give of yourself, your money, your time, or something else of value."